Hirohiko Araki Interview - Kira My Hero (Short Summary)
|“|| Kira Yoshikage is obviously a pun on Killer, and of course Killer Queen. Regarding how his name is spelled, the reason I use 吉良 (Kira), and 吉影 (Yoshikage) is because I love alliteration.
You know the photo of Kira with his parents? I thought I'd describe his childhood and all he had gone through, but decided against it as I figured Kira's childhood would have made the readers feel sorry for him. That's not good; after all, he is the main villain Josuke has to face. Instead of trying to illustrate it fully, I tried to hint how his childhood was like, such as the fact his parents are old. Another is his mom in the photo, doesn't she look somehow strange?
|“|| Before we talk about Kira, lets talk about the town of Morioh.
It is modelled after a new residential development built close to where I grew up. Back then, I was looking at these new buildings and felt a sort of anxiety as opposed to admiration. “Was everything really going well [in there]?”
Looking from the outside, you see all these warm lights in the houses, but you have no idea what people are doing inside. These houses that looked the same were being built and they all looked pristine and happy. Doesn’t that sort of make you feel like a Kira might be [lurking] there? (laughter)
With ‘Diamond is Unbreakable’ my theme was to build out a town. I wanted to draw the humor and spookiness that might be lurking the peripheries of everyday life. Even myself now, there might be bizarre things going on if I just change my point of view.
I was also very influenced by the novels of Stephen King. I was reading them a lot in the 80’s and 90’s, but I especially liked ‘Misery’. The stage is fixed and you just keep delving deeper and deeper within it. Back then I read a lot of King novels.
Also with Part 4, I got to bring in a lot of my own tastes into the work so that was fun. Games, shops, Italian restaurants! With Tonio’s store, I paid a lot of attention to what I was drawing down to the ornaments. It was great bringing that into the fold too… Research was also really easy—I just had to go home to Sendai (laughter) I would just go back, take a few pictures at a souvenir shop and draw them in—all within the realm of not being scolded [for frivolous travel] of course!
Also, Josuke’s hairstyle, even my editor pushed back being like ‘Please draw a main character suited for the era’. But I thought it was good because he wasn’t. The way he cares about his hairstyle, it’s very ‘70’s~80’s delinquent’-like isn’t it? But when you go to the countryside, you occasionally see people like that (laughter) When I was a student, I would stay away from people like that because they scared me, but now there’s almost something endearing about them.
So it seems that when we remixed the comics, there were 7 volumes just dedicated to episodes related to Kira. I myself was like ‘Wow, did I really draw that much of him?’
One of the themes of ‘Diamond is Unbreakable’ is that Horror may be lying right behind our everyday lives. The reason for that is because I liked reading books on serial killers back in the 80’s—this is right before ‘Silence of the Lambs’ would be published and that became a trend—and I wanted to understand what the motivation of serial killers were. Why would you be born a human and do things like this? Those types of questions really interested me and the actions of these people I found really spooky.
So when I started drawing out ‘everyday life’, I had an initial assumption that a serial killer would be the enemy. A sort of different enemy from ‘Stardust Crusaders’, one that lies in wait. The ‘Stardust Crusader’ enemies came rushing in, but [I was thinking of] an enemy that would sort of lure you in… Eventually I was thinking of drawing something like that, but I wasn’t imagining Kira Yoshikage as a specific character from the start.
The first enemies were student-level enemies like Okuyasu and Keicho, also the guitarist Otoishi Akira—at first I was thinking of student level, delinquent level enemies. The reason for that being that I didn’t want to make a sort of ‘Greatest enemy’. When you create a ‘Greatest enemy’ to be overcome, to be the goal, the readers can’t focus on anything besides that. I didn’t want that to become a weakness in the work. For every story I wrote, I wanted the attention to be on what’s happening right now.
But it seems ‘Jojo’ readers really wanted a ‘Greatest enemy’ of some sort, I guess DIO gave off too strong an impact…. so when it seemed like the end was in sight, I thought up of Kira.
The name Kira is of course from ‘Killer’—so a murderer. Its very simple (laughter) The name ‘Yoshikage’… I wanted the first kanji of both names to be the same. Same with Jojo right? So it might be easy to remember if I aligned it around the letter ‘吉’. That;s all. But it sounded right.
The first appearance, I drew from the PoV of Kira. I wanted to draw something from the point of view of the antagonist. Up until this point, I only wrote the villains from the point of view of the protagonists—the villains as seen by the protagonists. But antagonist has a point of view as well, and I wanted to draw what their mental state might be. Why does Kira commit murders? And I wanted to draw that in a fashion where he stays an antagonist and doesn’t become a protagonist.
So I didn’t want to make him a very sympathetic character. When you read about the young lives of these serial killers, you often see that they lived unhappy childhoods. But if you start drawing that out, they become useless as antagonists. So I took care to cut out those parts as best I could when building his character. That took a bit of work.
For DIO, he had a thing about becoming a pinnacle over humanity right? But Kira is pursuing true human happiness. That’s why he hates trouble. He just wants to live in a world of his own interests, and that’s what makes him dangerous (laughter) But he might have an philosophy of his own… The enemies up until that point like DIO and Kars were all aiming for the top—it might have been symbolic of the Japanese economy up until that point, like the bubble economy (laughter). Back in those days, DIO’s might have been the more natural mindset and you might unconsciously sympathize more with that.
When I was drawing Kira, what people were looking for was tranquility. The idea that happiness is not about standing on top of others. Kira’s awards since he was a middle schooler were all for the #3 spot. Not #1 or #2, but #3. Not conspicuous, but still respectful. He himself has the talent to become #1. But standing out, making enemies, being chased, feeling pressure, feeling expectations he can’t handle that at all. There might be a lot of adults who think like that, but it’ll be creepy if someone was thinking that when they’re a kid right? It’s much cuter for kids to be like ‘I’m going to become #1!’ That sort of abnormality was what I wanted to draw, that sort of odd genius.
Killing Sugimoto Reimi when he was 18, that was Kira’s first murder. It’s around the same time Jotaro and his companions fought DIO. Maybe that was a sort of year when the stars aligned. A year of destiny. Josuke was saved by the man with the pompadour that year too, so a lot of things went on.
His first murder, it was probably by impulse. By chance, he saw Reimi and snuck into her house… and that changed his fate. If not for that incident, he might not have lived a happy life without killing, but the stars steered him wrong. And from there, you can’t shake fate. His first murder went a long time without being uncovered. You read about serial killers and how they have dozens of bodies buried under the floor. You wonder how that happens without being uncovered, but that’s really scary right? Maybe its driven by the apathy of the neighbors… With that first murder, Kira became destined to kill 48 people.
Kira’s background of bottling up his nails… that was inspired from a real life story of someone who preserved his nails to monitor his own condition and stress levels. That person is not a serial killer (laughter) That nail story was interesting, and I remembered it. It seemed like something Kira might do… ‘When my nails have grown x millimeters, I’m doing great!’ ‘This is when I can never be caught!’ I feel like I do something similar… I measure my blood pressure and read from it my condition. Sometimes I feel invincible when the readings are good. There might be athletes who do that too… not with nails of course. Kira just does a sorta-creepy version of that (laughter)
Now for Kira’s family, do you remember that scene where you see a picture of Kira’s family, I put a lot of thought into drawing that. It’s not a fun-looking family, but it also looks sort of peaceful… and that’s creepy. The father and mother appears close to each other, but also distant. They probably haven’t ever really had a major fight either. When you read about a serial killer’s life, you feel chills when you come across a picture of them as a child. I wanted to imbue that picture with a bit of that feeling.
Now Kira’s father, he was a strange person. Not quite a criminal, but considered odd. He probably knew his son was a murderer and went ahead hiding his crimes. Of course, Kira’s father went to Egypt and obtained the bow and arrow from Enya to protect his son. Right around then, DIO was looking for allies around the world and Kira’s father was one of those accepted as having potential by him. The same for Okuyasu’s father. People who had been scouted by DIO were all around the world, and even among them, Kira’s father and Okuyasu’s father may have had extra attention paid to them as they were in Japan along with Jotaro. For the mother, I haven’t drawn anything about her at all, but I think she may have done a sort of ‘abusive coddling’ towards Kira. That’ll be scary right?
Even now, I wonder if I should have drawn out Kira’s relationship with his parents in more depth. But I had to cut it out with much reluctance… or maybe I should say that I didn’t have the courage to draw that out. Like I said before, I didn’t want to detail Kira’s past too much. I didn’t want the readers to look at Kira and his father and think ‘these are actually very sad characters’. I drew out Kira’s mental state when killing, but if I started delving into the fundamental reason why he kills, Kira becomes a sort of sympathetic character… if you start empathizing with Kira that’s not really appropriate for a Shonen manga. I didn’t want readers to feel sympathy. That may be the hardest thing about drawing out Kira. Although I think I might have been able to add another two or three volume if I started delving into Kira’s mental state, his motivations and his relationship with his parents.
I’m really interested in familial relations… the Joestar bloodline is about families too after all. When I draw a character, I start wondering about their parents or siblings. It might be because I was influenced by my parents and sisters a lot. When follow that trail, when you draw out an antagonist I start wondering what influences he got from his family. But if you start delving into that person’s background, you start straying from the theme. There’s so much you could draw out. Even DIO had a lot of influence from his father. But because this is a weekly serial manga, its always difficult to decide how to cut that out. I mean, you only have 19 pages to draw on a week. That’s no space at all. You basically just have to take one idea and run with it. But even then it won’t fit, so I have to think hard about how I might condense two pages down to one…
Kira was cornered once and had to flee. Some people thought that might be the end of Part 4, but I was always planning on reviving him. His flight is equivalent to DIO’s resurrection. You think he’s lost, but then he surges back… around there was I really felt a sort of vitality from him. A different sort of vitality from DIO. DIO’s is merely a biological vitality, but Kira was able to tap into the world of a sort of spiritual or mental strength. At that point, Kira trumped Josuke and his friends in spiritual strength. It’s because he had that resurrection that Kira became such a great antagonist. If he had given up then, he would have been a no-go.
I didn’t think at all about using Cinderella to change his appearance. When he was cornered and I was thinking hard about how Kira might escape, lighting struck me and I realized ‘hey I could just use Cinderella which I wrote about last episode!’ I’m basically thinking at a week-by-week interval and never about what happens after that. I don’t know about Jump manga these days, but it’s all about how I make this week interesting for me.
I also like that part after this where Kira becomes a ‘father’ as Kawajiri Kosaku. There’s a P.K. Dick novel about an alien masquerading as a father in a family; I wanted to draw something like that. Only the son knows that he’s an alien… those types of stories are fun. Those episodes are written from the point of view of the son Kawajiri Hayato, and I think it was good as it changed up the pace. After that you had a few Kira point of view stories and you saw that wife falling in love with Kira. I guess it’s plausible that you might grow to love someone if they’ve actually changed, but falling in love with a serial killer, that’s sort of abnormal too and good.
At the end, the son discovers his secret and Kira discovers a new ability. That’s an extension of his resurrection. It’s impossible to stick around in Jojo with the same ability, you have to power up. The youngling who develops into something greater is a common archetype in Shonen. It’s one of the things I feel are a ‘must have’ in a story. Josuke and Jotaro are sort of ‘completed’ characters so it’s difficult to draw a development scene for them, but Koichi-kun and Kawajiri Hayato fit that type. To see Kira also grow in parallel to them is an atypical way of fulfilling a Shonen stereotype.
On ‘Bites the dust’ ability. When you start thinking around the theme of time or rather time travel there’s a lot of variations you can delve into like stopping time, rewinding time… So its sort of like me passing on ideas I wasn’t able to use for DIO. I like the idea of time manipulation. I did something like that with ‘Golden Wind’ and ‘Stone Ocean’.
Writing the ‘Bites the Dust’ episodes were fun. It felt like I was assembling a puzzle or building a game. But because the same time was incremented so many times, I became concerned with whether the readers would follow along. I said this before too, but given that I only have 19 pages a week, I started wondering if this was appropriate for a Weekly manga. A weekly serial has build up story tension within those 19 minutes then pass it along to the next week. It’s a lot of work, but I see those as the rules I have to work within.
In the end, Kira dies after having been run over by an ambulance, and his face was obliterated and nobody could tell who he is.
With ‘Diamond is Unbreakable’ … with the town of Morioh, I wanted to trap it into a world of ‘eternity’. Like would the wife have been happy if she knew that her husband was no longer the same person? If she realized it, it would be a bit boring right? So I was fine with that state continuing forever and no answer being resolved. Within myself, Morioh will forever be in that state. What happened to Josuke after the series? I don’t think about that at all. Morioh is ‘eternal’.
I drew Kira also in a spinoff called ‘Deadman’s Q’. Being trapped in an ‘eternal’ world with his soul being unable to go to heaven or hell, I thought that might be a form of suffering or punishment too. The same thing with Diavolo in ‘Golden Wind’, but it might be a punishment to be trapped within eternity. In the commentary for the short story collection [‘Under Eecution, Under Jailbreak’] I wrote that I was tearing up as I drew the story (laughter) I was very invested in Kira. I almost understood his feelings, if only he hadn’t committed murder… I didn’t draw it at the time, but thinking back on it I feel that he might have been person with the burden of sadness too.
Out of all the villains I’ve drawn so far, Kira is my favorite. I like DIO too… but more than DIO. Because he was seeking a quiet life and wasn’t a character you would see often in a shonen manga, I was very invested
|“|| "To be honest becoming a mangaka was my childhood dream. When I was about 9, I was drawing all the time at school and my friends I was showing my drawings to, like them a lot. It gaves me the bravery and desire to try my luck in that field. And after at universty I could participate in a contest which allowed me to begin my career as a mangaka."
"When I was young in the early 70's there was a huge amount of manga that I liked. My favorite ones being those with stories dealing about sports, horror, and even sci-fi. Therefore I was inspired by all of this to create my own stories. I'm not sure but still I consider having been inspired a lot of by the works of my elders and I reckon my work wouldn't be what it is "without them. Anyhow I'm still attached to the past of manga and there is still today influence by the authors I'd read as a teenager."
"What I've been trying to do when I started manga was to make evolve the drawing which was somehow too flat, but from the 80's on mangakas started to inspire from Michaelangelo's work. The generation of mangaka I belong to was inspired much by the artists like Michaelangelo or some French painters in order to create characters whose physical aspects was more striking."
(On Tetsuo Hara, I suppose) "The fact that our drawings look alike is very easy to explain. We started at about the same period in the early 80's and it was then too that movies starring Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger started to come to Japan and all these action movies were big hits there. Actually I reckon we wanted to make manga starring macho characters, with big muscles and fighting all the time, a bit like the heroes of the action movies."
"Before the 5th part I reckon, the story was too long so I'll try to make them shorter now."
"The new generation of mangaka is about 10 years younger than me, so they've read Jojo in their childhood, and so it's normal that it has inspired them."
"What I've been trying to do when I started Jojo is to implement a powerful and invisible force which would overcome my characters during the fights. So the idea of stand came to me by thinking of shintoism, which teaches us that our ancestors are always by our side to protect us."
"It's a real pain in the ass for me trying to show the good side of some of my bad guys as it's always very hard. I'd rather go for a more stereotyped approach where I create a hero who will fundamentally be good and to make it balanced, oppose him to a truly evil being."
"About the animé nothing is planned so far but maybe in the future the 5th part will be adapted to TV too." (!?)
"I've no experience as a prisoner myself but I've visited jails and made researches on the subject to make my scenario credible and I've no real mesage to pass on except maybe the condition of mangaka regarding to their editors. Every week I've to hand in 20 new pages to mine. I work simply, on friday I imagine what's next in the story and write the scenario, then from saturday to tuesday I create the drawings, so normally I've two days off a week, but I mainly use them to imagine the sories of weeks to come."
"I deal with the main drawing but my assistants are the ones who deal with the details. And if I can be here today it's only because I've just finished the 6th part so I'm entitled to a few holidays. But the rest of the time I'm very busy." 
Your thoughts about your 25th anniversary as an author?
Do you read back on your old work?
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of JoJo.
How was "JoJo" born?
The origin of the name "JoJo"
Regarding the birth of the arch nemesis, Dio
Part 1:Phantom Blood
Part 2: Battle Tendency
Was it always your plan to revive Dio in Part 3?
Part 3: Stardust Crusaders
Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable
Josuke is supposed to be the child of a lover but...?
Part 5: Vento Aureo
Part 6: Stone Ocean
About the end of Part Six
What are your thoughts regarding time?
Manga Artist Araki HiroHiko
Second, artwork always changes; for example, I said before that muscular characters were really popular in the 80's but that wasn't really the case anymore in the 90's. I think it's strange to keep drawing muscular people if that's the case. So when I started on a new chapter back then I made Giorno Giovanna quite thin to be like a normal sized person. From around the time of Josuke, I decided to change from a mythical kind of person to a more ordinary size. That's the kind of way that artwork changes. Well, that's what I think. Also, I don't know about my art getting better. You could say that I was bad at the beginning though. I don't really try to keep it like my older styles; they're pictures that I've drawn in a classical kind of method, so I don't really mind if it changes.
About the game's cover
About the poses.
Also, it's not related but I actually enjoy drawing skin getting peeled. So I had alot of fun when drawing Koichi turning into a book. Not because it's grotesque but I think it's because I have to theorize what it might be like. It's strange. Also, things like what would happen if you bend a finger this way. You can make it possible by drawing. I think those are the kind of things I like, though I like drawing the poses too.
About the unique 'sound words'.
Is the model of Kishibe Rohan yourself?
Do you lick spiders like Rohan?
Themes Embedded in Araki's Work
Will that remain to be the theme?
A finale message to the fans
Afterword written in the last Japanese volume of Bunkoban version of Stone Ocean translated by twitter user @macchalion
|“|| The truth is, I don’t really know what to say about this. Writing this sixth part of “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure - Stone Ocean”, I started feeling a great sense of satisfaction regarding the stand’s powers. I felt like I had reached the peak of my creativity, as an author I had drawn everything my capabilities allowed. ‘Time’ that got faster and faster for humans’ senses to perceive, getting closer to the concept of infinite – given we can’t really comprehend much of it. How could there possibly be a stand power bigger than this? “There’s nothing more incredible, my creativity has reached the highest point”, that’s what I thought. I normally think that feelings like a sense of satisfaction or personal realization are extremely scary. Finding yourself in a situation where you think everything’s going well and you don’t need to do anything more is without doubt a terrible situation, as a person and as a mangaka, but also if we think about society and the development of science, philosophy, art and culture in general. People act to achieve something, to obtain satisfaction above all else, but what do they do when they reach it? This contradictory feeling crept up my heart while I was coming up with an ending for ‘Stone Ocean’.
Interviewer: “JoJolion” has been a bit more erotic in comparison to previous arcs but is this a conscious decision? Is there a motive behind this shift?
Araki: I wanted to draw something that I had never drawn before. Therefore, it’s probably the first time bust shots have made an appearance. As for the art, I want to draw a looser style. Instead of having a constant focus on intense fights, I think the readers also enjoy the off-beat interactions as well. Up until now I was pursuing the element of fear but I also want to incorporate a sense of relatability and looser aspects.
Interviewer: How have you specifically actualized these ideas?
Araki: For example, I have increased the number of white panels. I try not to draw everything to perfection but rather with a little more openness. I could illustrate as dark as I did previously but I intentionally included more white elements so the reader could pass through a section without being heavily invested in a facetious scene.
Interviewer: I do really enjoy how the art throughout the “JoJo” series has constantly evolved.
Araki: Rather than trying to change, I try to avoid illustrating old, already existing art. However, I do realize there are characters like Hirose Koichi or Kobayashi Tamami whose heights have gradually shrunk and that’s not great.. haha
Interviewer: Like, Funny Valentine from part 7 was the opposite as he steadily grew.
Araki: Ha, That’s okay because he was working out! (lol) In reality, the characters constantly move through their lines and poses and they just happen naturally like the flow of nature.
Interviewer: Regarding the dialogue, it’s really amazing because the lines are so memorable that they even publish books such as “Famous quotes from JoJo’s BIzzare Adventure”
Araki: It’s amazing isn’t it! Haha! When I see my work being accepted by the younger generations, I feel glad to have been drawing all this time.
|“|| I don't play fighting games myself, so I can't comment on that aspect, but I think it's amazing how perfectly they were able to recreate everything. It's beautiful. Whenever people try and adapt JoJo they always want to use a bunch of different colors. But this game actually suppresses the colors and makes them refined/quiet. I think this is good, because it will keep players' eyes from getting tired. I think the more colors on the screen increases the exhaustion in one's eyes. I also think the cutting-edge CG technology they used did a great job of capturing the atmosphere.
The characters have been recreated so well, they may look cooler than they are in the manga. (Laugh) There's a psychological level to the battles here. I like how they've made it something more than just a fighting game.
The town of Morio-cho appears in Parts 4 and 8, but they're in parallel worlds, so they aren't linked in time or space. The two Josukes would never meet each other normally. With this game, though, it becomes possible. At first I was bit taken aback. But then the bizarre nature to it all really got me interested. It's very entertaining. I would never allow something like this in the manga, but since this is a game, it's cool. Same thing with Jotaro fighting Dio Brando. The way the characters look is so different over the parts, though, that normally if you lined them all up they'd look very out of place with each other. But this game fixes all that, and I think that's one of its strengths.
Personally, I play a lot of horror action/adventure games. I like exploring a lot, not just fighting. I like puzzle games too. And I like sports and racing games too, as you might have figured from my inclusions of F-MEGA and Oh! That's a Baseball! in part 3. Lately games have been getting really "real." I still like cheap-looking games like F-MEGA.
Lately, though, I haven't really played any fighting games or shooting games. When I get excited during battles, my Adrenalin pumps up. I want games to heal me. That's why I play horror games. Horror heals me. (Laugh) Even in this game, the punch animations are just too fast for me. I'd rather watch them in slow motion.
I wish I had a technique that girls liked. (Laugh) Or, I wish I could appear as a side character, who says "Do your best!" and offers up an energy drink or something.
People who started reading JoJo when they were young have now become adults and are contributing to this project. I'm really amazed. And moved that we can work together to let the next generation read JoJo. I was so surprised when I heard they were going to make an anime. For 20 years, I've thought about how unsuited JoJo was for TV. (Laugh) It ended up being a lot bigger than I imagined it would. I'm so glad the fans enjoyed it.
People say my gallery showing in Florence was a success, but I don't have any strong feelings about that personally. But one thing I did notice is that whenever I go to Italy, I always hear people talking about Japanese manga. Dragon Ball, Naruto, and Yu Gi Oh are all very popular. And whenever people talk about Japanese manga they always talk about Japanese soccer. I suppose Captain Tsubasa has had a lot of influence over there. Whenever you mention Japan in Italy, it's either Naruto or Nagamoto (soccer player).
I listen to country and Western music a lot. It's like American "enka" music. I like the pure, "human" sound of the vocals.
As for movies, I mainly watch suspense and horror. Recently I saw "Life of Pi" and "Gangster Squad." They were very good. There look to be a lot of good horror movies coming out in 2013, including the Evil Dead remake, so I'm excited.
From here on out, in JoJolion, I plan to focus on the Higashikata family in more detail. But it won't be linked to Part 4 in any way. People keep asking me when Kishibe Rohan will appear, so let me answer that question: he won't. (Laugh) That is absolutely set in stone. Another weird mangaka will appear, though.
Q. What is manga to you?
A. Like how food is a blessing from the sky and earth, I think manga is a blessing from society. I'm receiving ideas and inspiration from Japan.
Q. Who do you respect?
A. Many people... Shirato Sanpei and Fujiko Fujio I've respected since long ago. Recently, I've really thought about how amazing pro mangaka who came before me are. Like how they've polished themselves so much, how much work they were able to handle... it'd be impossible in the present day. They were always so pure about how they faced their work. They weren't drawing manga because they wanted to become someone great. they just wanted to draw. That's what's so amazing.
Q. What's the most important thing in the world to you?
A. A lot is important to me... hmm. The most important thing would be my breathing technique, I suppose. (LOL) If my breathing gets bad, my stomach starts to hurt. So every morning, I use a special breathing technique. I store up breath around my ribs. It trains my inner muscles and connects me with the universe. It's pretty deep.
椛島さんとの対談でも少し話が出ましたけど、 第1部はディオを描きたかったんですよ。 とにかく彼を描くためのストーリーみたいなところがあってディオをどう動かすか」 を常に考えていた気がします。 「 善と悪」 「 白と黒」 みたいな主人公とライバルの対比を見せる漫画にしようと思っていた。 そのためには敵が強力じゃないと絶対面白くないんですよね。 だからディオは、 「 どうやって主人公はコイツに勝つんだ！ ？ 」 と読者が思ってくれるような「 究極の悪」 にしました。 ただ、 読者がちょっと憧れるような部分も持った悪、 「 共感できる悪」 にしたいとも思ってまし
ディオを究極の悪にした分、 その対比としてジョナサンは純粋すぎるくらいのキャラクターになりましたね。 ジョナサンは今だったら、 もうちょっと違う味付
けができるんだけど、 当時は僕も若かったから。 主人公のジョナサンという名前に、 そんなに深い意味はないですね。 外国人が主人公なので名前は「 とにかく読者が覚えやすいものにしよう」 と思っていました。 「 スティーブン· スピルバーグ」 みたいに、 頭で韻を踏んでいると印象が強いように感じたので「 ジョナサン。 ジョースター」 。 今では受け入れられているけど当時は外国人が主人公
の漫画なんて少なかったから、 馴染みがないというか違和感がありました。 自分でも描いていて「 人気は出ないかもな」 という意識もありつつ、 でも「 こういうのも認めてほしい」 という気持ちもありました
ディオは『 魔少年ビーティー』 の主人公· ビーティー· ピーティーの発展系なんです。 嫉妬だとかハングリー精神といった人間の感情の影の部分を、 ビーティーよりももっと深くしたキャラクターです。 悪役であるディオを描いていた時は自分の精神面にも
影響はあったかもしれない。 イライラするようなことたかもしれないはないんだけど、 例えば普段の暮らしの中でも、 ふとダークなことを考えてしまったり、 ディオと同じ視点になっちゃつて人間を昆虫観察するような目で眺めてしまったり、 そういうことはあったかもしれないですね。
『 魔少年ビーティー』 を描いていた頃もそうだったんだけど、 第1部や第2部の当時に目指していたのは少年漫画へのアンチっていうか、 友情· 努力· 勝利っていう「 週刊少年ジャンプ」 （ 以下、 WJ） の世界に挑戦して開拓していこうっていう生意気な気持ちもありました。
第2部の主人公のジョセフという名前は、 ジョナサンと同じく「 ジョジョ」 になればいいってことだけで、 これも深い意味はない味1。3なしです。 お調子者の性格は、 生真面目だったジョナサンと対比させたからですね。
物語で目指したのは「 誰がいちばん強いのか」 「 どういう人間が怖いのか」 を描くこと。 敵が「 究極生命体」 という設定は、 まさにそこですね、 食物連鎖の頂点。
当時は「 とにかく自分の作風を作らなきゃ」 11かくと思っていました。 僕の先輩の方々1970年代の有名な作家さんは、 皆さんご自分の作風を持っているんです。 そこには何か大事な意味があるんだろうと思っていました。 だから自分の漫画の人気がないからといって「 ホラーを描いていたのに、 急にスポーツ漫画やラブコメ漫画を描くようになっちゃダメだろう」 と。 「 そこは突き詰めていかなきゃダメなんだ」「 ブレてはいけない」 と思うようになったんですそれは自分で自分を追い込むことになるけど、 今でも続いていますね。 行き詰まったら終わりかもしれない。 … でも道は必ず開けると思えばこそです。
ので、 日本人になったってうのはあるかな。 でも向かう場所はエジプトだし、 仲間も外国人が多かったんですが（ 笑） 。 主人公の名前は「 承」 の字には「 受け継ぐ」 という意味があって、 本当は「 しょう- という読み方だけjごナどぉどお寺の名前とかで「 じょう」 じよAと読ませることもあったので、 それに決めました。 「 空条」 の方は、 第3部が始まる時に鎌倉に取材に行ったことがあって、 鎌倉幕府の執権だった「 北条」氏からですね。 それで「 ジョジョ=空条承太郎」 としました。
Note: Naokatsu Tsuda is the creative director in charge of David Production's enthusiastic anime adaptation of the iconic JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga. This is an interview for Mr. Tsuda at Anime Expo, Los Angeles on July 4, 2015 by Anime News Network.
ANN: What is the difference between your role as director and Kenichi Suzuki's role as "series director," as far as how things are managed?
Naokatsu Tsuda: The best way to think of it is not as co-directors, but one as the executive director and one as the actual director.
So he's in more of a producer position and you are the creative director?
We're both creative, but I have final say in everything.
How were you approached about directing a JoJo's television series and what was your reaction?
So, the story starts off with me being an employee at our production company, David Production. My previous work was directing Inu X Boku Secret Service and our Vice President, a man by the name of Kajita, asked me, "You like JoJo?" And I said "Yes!" And he said, "Okay, you're directing JoJo." That's it! Very easy.
When looking at the material, did you feel that there was much adaptation that needed to be made for language and references, since it is over twenty years old, or did you feel that it was timeless and you didn't have to change much?
The main adaptation needed for a modern audience would be in the visuals. If you look at the original JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the lines are very detailed and I question if a modern viewer would be able to relate to these details. Also, we do need to simplify the lines for animation. So simplifying the lines was something we definitely prioritized. But the JoJo's graphic novels, over the years, have become something of an internet meme, or at least they are the source of a lot of internet memes. One thing we can do today that wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago is pick up on already established memes and see how we can pull those into the anime. Many parts of the series are already finished, so we are in a unique position today where we can do a wholesale retrospective on them. Also, modern audiences have a preference for higher-paced dialogue, so that's also different today from how it would've been adapted back then.
That's very interesting to hear about the meme culture of JoJo's. So you were aware of that stuff going in and you consciously said, "Oh we have to get this right, we have to make this feel classic for fans of the manga?"
Yes, in fact that was fully intended. We wanted to make a show where a fan could watch the animated episode and then go back to the graphic novel and see that their idea of JoJo was faithfully animated. We wanted to make something that could be shared as a new source of fan memes, and something where everyone's idea of JoJo could come to life through it.
One of my favorite things about JoJo's is the incredible sound design and music work on this show, both the soundtrack and the use of sound effects visually is very powerful. I feel like viewers can listen to this show and understand the story almost as well as seeing it. What was your philosophy going into the music and sound effects for the series?
The written words that show up in JoJo's is something that we call a "word effect." This comes directly from the manga, where if you look directly at the panel, the written sound effects are an integral part of the layout. Usually, when you animate a graphic novel, all those sound effects would be taken out, but that also changes the visual layout of the panel in translation to the screen. Now when you look at streaming culture today in Japan, especially when you look at websites such as Niconico, all the users just paste up their text reactions as part of the video stream, and that's part of the actual fan culture. My takeaway from that was younger audiences of today don't actually have any problem seeing written sound effects onscreen. So rather than changing the original manga layout, we wanted to incorporate that into the anime as well and use word effects in choice places for favorite lines and favorite sounds, perhaps sound effects that the viewer might want to shout out along with the show. So it's just thinking about things backwards and then making them work out. I don't think you actually need to be able to read the text, because it's more of a visual element than a language thing.
For the music, I really wanted to incorporate film-style music rather than something that resembled a variety show. When you use music in film, it's often set to a specific character or emotion or scene. In the first two parts of Jojo's, the music is really set to the scene and only once in a while is it set to the emotions of the moment. Part 1 takes place in 19th century England, which isn't exactly a place anyone has first-hand experience living through. So we used the music to establish a sense of history and location and period that we can relate to. Then we skip over to Part 2, which takes place in Art Deco America. So we had to establish something more stylish and pop in tone there. Since there's a graphic visual difference between Part 1 and Part 2, we wanted the audience to be transported 50 years forward through the music as well as the visuals.
What was the process for choosing the ending theme songs like "Roundabout" and "Walk Like an Egyptian?" Is this a tradition that you want to continue in future parts?
Well, those came from the author of the original graphic novel, Hirohiko Araki. They're all songs that he was listening to back when he was drawing the individual parts. Mr. Araki only listens to Western music because he doesn't understand English, so none of the lyrics come across to him as language, but as pure sound. So we got a list of these songs that he was listening to back when he was writing each part, and we chose songs for the closing animation based on which ones Warner was able to secure the rights for. It was up to Warner to actually do the negotiating. So if there is an anime production of the next part, we'll probably go by the same process. Traditionally, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has been a gateway to learn about Western music for Japanese readers. For American fans, a lot of the music and names featured in JoJo's are more an acknowledgement of familiar artists, but this is also cause for Warner to be engaged in a lot of negotiations to secure those rights.
Yes, the names of these characters are changed in the official subtitles for American viewers. Vanilla Ice becomes Cool Ice, Oingo Boingo becomes Zenyatta Mondatta, and so on. The fans always know the real names, so they see that and sort of laugh at it. They feel like "what, are they afraid of lawyers?" How do you feel about American audiences being given changed names?
Well, I do think someone may have tried to err on the sensitive side of things in translation. When you look at characters like Oingo and Boingo, if the musical artist of the same name wasn't happy with the idea of being depicted as such comical characters, perhaps erring on the sensitive side might have been the right decision.
On that note, where did the Oingo Boingo Brothers song come from? It was a very fun surprise!
Part 3, Stardust Crusaders, is split into two halves for television airing. At the time, the music producer at Warner, Mr. Oomori, had asked if there was any scene-specific music that I wanted to have in the series. You might be familiar with a specific practice in Japanese animation where episode one and episode three are very important for a show's production. If episode one doesn't execute well, a lot of viewers will write off the show and never watch it. And you also need to have a new development or twist take place in episode three, or more established viewers will abandon the show. It's not such an issue with episode four onwards, but that's the unfortunately reality of the industry right now. The Oingo Boingo episode in question is actually episode three of Stardust Crusaders' second half, so we knew we had to make it stand out. Boingo is an enemy who uses manga as their gimmick, so for the ending we thought this could be the first and only instance of a character song. I thought it would be something that the viewers would be very happy to see. So I went to producer Oomori, he greenlit it, and the Oingo Boingo Brothers happened.
And the Hol Horse Boingo Combo as well! Now do you have a favorite Joestar or a favorite character? Not just in the three parts that are animated, but from any of it?
Well, since I just finished working on Stardust Crusaders, I'm most sympathetic to Jotaro. In part 4, my favorite is still Jotaro. As a high school reader of the manga, my favorite Joestar was… well, it's actually questionable if he's from the Joestar family, but he's the main character from part 5, Giorno Giovanna. He's actually Dio's child, but he inherits a very large portion of the Joestar family spirit.
You mentioned that the manga's art could be difficult to adapt to animation. What were your thoughts on adapting the manga's striking color design in a way that wouldn't be too overwhelming?
One thing that makes anime different is that once you establish the color setting, you can't change it, whereas there's no set color for a lot of things in the JoJo's graphic novel. Once we established the color setting inside the anime, we knew there might be a lot of fans who would object to the choice of colors. As a JoJo fan myself, I do really understand the kinds of things they would object to. So we decided on scene-specific coloring, so that the "set color" could still change depending on the specifics of the scene. Since the graphic novel doesn't actually have set colors for a lot of things, I think that was one way to take advantage of its style, while creating something that would be acceptable to fans.
One last question: JoJo's is filled with great moments of elation, and it must be exciting for the voice cast to do that sort of thing. What was the most powerful moment for you, vocally?
There's far too many to mention, but if I were to choose one, it would be the final episode of Stardust Crusaders, where Jotaro and Dio are having their showdown, and it is the battle of ORAORA and MUDAMUDA.
I knew the story, so I knew it was coming, but I was still surprised when Dio shouted "ROAD ROLLER!"
I'm very happy to hear that.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure X Assassination Classroom Araki Hirohiko & Matsui Yuusei
Dream talk session
A chance meeting between Matsui Yuusei, author of the popular Weekly Jump manga "Assassination classroom", and Araki Hirohiko, who has built a unique world within his "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure". During this relaxed discussion, they raise the curtain on their work methods.
Even though I look like this, I'm an outdoors type of guy (laughs). -Araki
Thank you for coming today! Matsui-sensei ate Araki-sensei's cod roe spaghetti and chicken soup. Can you give us an impression?
Matsui: Really, I'm overwhelmed by being able to eat the food an artist I look up to made. The chicken soup had a really gentle flavour and I felt it was very invigorating. The spaghetti was good too!
Araki-sensei, you said you like to cook as a divergence from your work. Are making food and making manga similar in any way?
Araki: Well, not really (laughs). However, I make both manga and food in gratitude of many things, so I guess they spring from the same source.
You just ate together. Do you do anything special to keep up your health, and what are your favorite foods?
Matsui: I just eat stuff I buy at the convenience store. I take nutritional supplements and go out to eat some proper food every now and then, so I really don’t fuss over my health much yet.
Araki: I don’t eat anything after 6pm. I eat whatever I like in the morning and afternoon, but I don’t eat anything in the evening. If you eat while working in the evenings, you’ll definitely get fat. If you get fat, you won’t want to move and you’ll fall into a downwards spiral, so I’m careful about my health.
Matsui: You’re still very slim. Do you exercise regularly?
Araki: I do.
Matsui: When did you start?
Araki: I think that when people hit their 40s, they’ll want to take up running because they’re tense about their health. I used to like diving and mountaineering, so from there I started running. I actually like exercising. Even though I look like this, I’m an outdoors type of guy (laughs).
Matsui: I didn’t mind exercise before I started Assassination Classroom, but as soon as the serialisation started, my will to exercise disappeared. Moreover, I feel like muscles get in the way when I’m just sitting and letting my mind work at full force, so it can’t be helped. To draw manga you just need your head and hands. Anything else is unnecessary. Although I do think I should keep up my stamina while doing a serialisation, so it’d be bad if I kept going like this.
Mangaka can take a break whenever they want, but they don’t get any holidays. –Matsui'
Photo caption: Jojo has moved to Ultra Jump since Steel Ball Run. Araki-sensei is currently working on Jojolion, but he says the current amount of pages matches his personal rhythm better.
How do you two gather data and materials?
Matsui: I’ve been relying on the internet a lot recently.
Araki: For me it’s still books. However, I have to buy them at a physical bookstore, or it won’t work. I want to choose a book from a bookstore that I like.
Matsui: Where do you buy them normally?
Araki: In Shinjuku or Aoyama. If I go there I’ll know what’s popular, or what the staff recommends. I want to see those things. If I look online I’ll just see the things I like. Without realising I’ll only look for the things I like, so bookstores and CD shops in which I can see what others recommend are an indispensable source of information for me.
I’d like to ask about your weekly schedules and how you work. Araki-sensei, has your work pace changed since you moved from Weekly Jump to Ultra Jump?
Araki: Weekly Jump was 19 pages per week, but that rhythm didn’t work for me. I really wanted to draw 21 pages per week. Since I’ve gone to Ultra Jump it’s become 45 pages per month. This matches my natural work rhythm better, so I can draw comfortably every month.
Matsui: That’s unusual! For me, 19 pages per week is a bit too much. Bringing that to 21 pages even… doesn’t it become a bit demanding? (laughs)
Araki: That’s true. But for Jojo I want the decisive panels to be big, so the page count goes up anyway.
Matsui: That’s typical of Jojo. If you put in “gogogogo” leading up to the decisive panels…. You’d have 21 pages very quickly.
Araki: Perhaps, yes. But what do you do when your name* ends at 17 pages? (*t/n: A name is a manga manuscript)
Matsui: It’s not that hard to increase the amount. If I’m 2 pages short I’ll consult with my editor. He’ll generally say something like “let’s add these elements”, and when I incorporate those it usually turns out fine. That’s the easiest way.
Araki: I see.
Matsui: On the other hand, it’s much harder to take things out of the material I’ve already got. I take care not to waste too much time on that. I’ve already got my hands full just trying to get it done every week. How did you manage when you worked weekly?
Araki: On Sunday I’d do the name. On Monday I got that checked by my editor, and from Tuesday to Thursday I’d draw with the assistants. On Thursday we’d also discuss the next chapter. Friday and Saturday were my days off.
Matsui: What an ideal week. For veterans like you or Akimoto-sensei* it’s okay, but there’s no one of my age that can pull that off.
- 1… Akimoto Osamu, the creator of Weekly Jump’s longest running manga, Kochikame. He’s looked up to by other mangaka for thoroughly keeping to his schedule and never missing a deadline in over 40 years of serialisation.
Photo caption: Matsui-sensei is giving his all for Assassination Classroom. He doesn’t have time to take a holiday at this point.
Araki: What does your weekly schedule look like?
Matsui: 3 days for the name, 2 days for the sketches. Finishing up with the assistants also takes 2 days. Recently I’ve changed this to 4 days for the name, 1 day for the sketches and 2 days for finishing up with the assistants. There isn’t a day where I can take the whole day off. However, I think the 4 days I take for the name do include breaks of some kind. Mangaka can take a break whenever they want, but they don’t get any holidays. If you have some free time, you have to use every spare moment to make your story more interesting. It’s hard to take a proper holiday. In that sense, you veterans are good at relaxing. The better you get at work, the better you get at play.
Araki: Fujiko A-sensei* is amazing. I think it’s something personal, that exceeds technique, which brings forth that sort of appeal to a manga.
- 2…A veteran mangaka famous for works such as Pro Golfer Saru and The Laughing Salaryman. Also famous for associating with a wide variety of people, such as the actress Rie Miyazawa and the singer Inoshita Yousui.
Matsui: In my own generation there aren’t that many people that can relax like that. Myself especially, I can’t even say I have a hobby of any kind. That unrelenting energy and willpower, staying active as a mangaka until your 60s…. I can’t imagine it. Last year was Jojo’s 25th year, but you don’t draw it thinking “I should keep going” or anything do you?
Araki: I don’t.
Matsui: Your body moves naturally?
Araki: No. But 30 years pass in no time at all, you know. And I have examples like A-sensei and Akimoto-sensei.
Matsui: To me, you’re a great example as well!
Araki: Thank you. I’m already 53, but I think I should try to keep going until I’m about 60. I think you should take it easy and focus on making your current work interesting!
Next, I’d like to hear about your works. I’d like to talk about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure first. How was it when your serialisation first started a quarter century ago?
Araki: When I debuted in the 80’s, Jump was full of people that emitted this intense power. I debuted amongst that, so in order to survive I had to emit a power strong enough to stand up to them. In other words, I had to show my own style. When I started Jojo, I think I finally managed to show something like that. I finally found my own direction. In the 7–8 years before that, I kept wandering, struggling to find my originality, my colour. Those were my twenties.
Matsui: But from our point of view, the works you made before that, like “Magic Boy B.T.” and “Baoh”, are pretty distinct as well! No matter how you look at it, it’s Araki-ism.
Araki: Back then, I used to draw while looking at Shirato-sensei’s* works. I moved my pen, wondering what to do.
- 1…One of the pioneers of the “narrative comic” genre of manga in the 1960’s. He gained fame with his ninja works such as “Sasuke”, and managed to draw adults to manga with the philosophical elements of “The Legend of Kamui”.
Matsui: I get that. To me, you were my Shirato-sensei. When I was young, I tried really hard to get rid of your influence. I think I’ve finally managed to shed all of it recently.
Araki: ‘Hiding’ those things means you’ve finally found your own sense of direction. You can clearly draw whatever it is that you want to draw. You can’t have any doubts there.
Matsui: That’s right. But I think it’s too late to escape things I already know. For instance, if an enemy is slowly following someone and it’d be good to put in “gogogogogo”, I think to myself “If you put it in, you lose”, but I still end up putting it in. It’s like that. I mean to put in something original, but then when I look back at it later I often think “This was influenced by that work”.
Araki: For me, it’s the main characters’ thick eyebrows. It took me 10 years to get those thick boy’s magazine-style eyebrows back to thin eyebrows. Truth be told, I just can’t do it because thin eyebrows gross me out. Maybe it’s just bias, but without realising, this influence became deeply ingrained within me.
Matsui: Jotaro had some pretty thick ones too.
Araki: Yes. A supporting character like Kakyoin can have thin eyebrows, but for a main character like Jotaro I just can’t make them thin.
Matsui: Back then, there was that kind of formula where characters with thin eyebrows had weak emotions, so they were supporting characters.
Araki: But when you’re trying to follow your own path, you should break away from those formulas.
Matsui: That’s true! By the way, how old were you when you started Jojo?
Araki: I was about 26-27. You see, people who were at the top like Yudetamago-sensei* and Takahashi Youichi-sensei*already found their style in their teens. So I was really fretting. At the time it gave me a serious complex.
- 2…A famous manga duo known for the superhuman pro wrestling comic “Kinnikuman”. You can still read new episodes of Kinnikuman in Weekly Playboy Webcomic!
- 3…The mangaka of the immortal soccer manga “Captain Tsubasa”. His works gave rise to an immense soccer boom amongst primary school kids, and has influenced many J-leaguers and world-famous soccer players.
Matsui: Nowadays people are quite premature. I was quite late as well, debuting at 25, so I was pretty frantic until I became 30.
I think that even amongst all those other manga, Jojo is a particularly ambitious work. – Matsui.
Araki: Have you ever had your manuscript rejected by an editor before?
Matsui: Actually, it’s only been small comments like adjusting the dialogue in one panel. I haven’t really had any rejection, so I can say I’ve been allowed to draw freely. What’s rejection like?
Araki: I was once made to redraw all 19 pages! That’s how it was back then. New mangaka all had to undergo this kind of baptism. If you said “I only have two days left, do I really have to redraw everything?” they just replied with “Kurumada-sensei* does it too”.
- 4…Kurumada Masami-sensei of “Kojirou of the Fuuma” and “Saint Seiya” fame. One of Weekly Jump’s top runners, churning out hit series since the 70’s.
Matsui: That’s unfair! In those 2 precious days you could have thought of some valuable topics.
Araki: However, if I look back at it, my drawings were really kind of unstable. The faces on the first and last page are a little different.
Matsui: Couldn’t you have tried getting really angry to see if your editor would give in? (laughs)
Everyone bursts out laughing.
Araki: I tried to protest, but it was futile. Even my popular seniors redrew their work if the editor demanded it. A beginner like me had no margin to object, so I resigned to redrawing.
Matsui: Back then they had that style of training where rookies were burdened both mentally and physically.
Araki: That’s right. Something like the Showa* style. In any case, it was ridiculous! (laughs) (*t/n: Showa is the historical period lasting from 1926 to 1986)
Matsui: I think that these days the editors don’t need to test them that much, since there are a lot of people who will draw without complaining or fighting. Even though it’s the same Weekly Jump, it really changes with the times.
Araki: Though I think the passion to bring interesting manga to the readers hasn’t changed.
Matsui: That’s right. I agree!
Matsui-sensei, you think that Jojo is the greatest masterpiece in history when it comes to drawing grotesque things. But what do you think is so greatly grotesque about Jojo?
Matsui: A lot of the grotesque things are in plain view, and it’s not as if these things can just be healed again. That’s impossible in other manga!
Araki: That’s why I got a lot of rejections. I couldn’t show erotica either. Even if I used stands to portray things, it was all rejected.
Matsui: I think they allowed a lot more than in other works though.
Araki: Well, there were many unprecedented things in Jojo, so the hurdle was pretty low. Still, there were a lot of topics that got rejected.
Matsui: Wow! I’m really curious!! But I’m sure they’re kind of embarrassing to say.
Araki: Yes (laughs).
Matsui: I think that even amongst all those other manga, Jojo is a particularly ambitious work. I’m really interested in the things you thought up that were too ambitious for your editor to understand. I wanted to see those things. It’s a real pity…… Ah, I also get the feeling that you’re alternating between drawing Jojo in a small and a large world setting. Were you aiming for that?
Araki: Maybe I was, yes. Thank you for noticing. When you’ve drawn a small world for a long time, don’t you feel like travelling? I’m just repeating that process.
Matsui: So Morioh, which also appears in Jojolion, is an example of that too?
Photo caption: In Sendai, which stood model for Morioh, there have been many collaborations, like celebrating Jojo's 25th anniversary with an exhibition last year.
Araki: Yes. I used my hometown of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture as a model for Morioh. I made it into a fictional place because I thought they might complain, but they were really happy I used it. I thought “The times sure have changed”.
Matsui: I was actually pretty surprised you drew such a familiar world for your manga.
Araki: Someone told me “I was surprised to see you do something Japanese”. Is it that surprising?
Matsui: Yes. Even when Morioh first appeared in part 4, it still had something foreign.
Araki: But in my personal life I don’t really get out of the neighbourhood I live in. Before I drew part 5 I went to Italy every year though. Recently I haven’t gone out of the country for anything non-work related.
Jojo is currently up to part 8, but what has been the main cause for you to continue for over 25 years?
Araki: It’s accidental. I didn’t plan for it to be like this, nor did I expect it. I don’t even know what will happen next year.
Last time you said you wanted to continue drawing until you were 60, but what part is Jojo up to by then?
Araki: I’m really not thinking about that! I’m just giving Jojolion my all right now. We’ll know when we get there, won’t we (laughs).
Matsui: That reminds me….. you like zombie movies and horror-type things don’t you?
Araki: I love all zombie movies, from the masterpieces to the absolutely terrible ones.
Matsui: I really don’t have a hobby, so I’d like to have one. I don’t really like gaming either. If I had to say anything, it’d probably just be eating good food.
Araki: You don’t watch horror movies?
Matsui: I watch some every now and then, but I can’t say I watch them all or anything. I’m the type of person who decides what to use from a small number of good and bad movies, rather than learn from watching a lot of them.
Araki: Ah, I see….. I thought you must be a horror movie fan too though.
Matsui: Well, it’s true that I love horror movies. Jojo is like horror movies in that at a glance, it seems to be in a genre that people would avoid, but is loved by everyone anyway and does really well.
Araki: You’re too kind. But it’s good to be perverse too! It’s fine to be perverse as long as you keep it limited. If you get serious about it no one will like you.
Matsui: Yes. If it doesn’t have some kind of charm about it, people won’t like it in the end. Even the most inhumane character should have some kind of charm point. In that sense, don’t you think zombies are super charming?
Araki: Exactly! Zombie movies are really great. I think there’s something wrong with people who say “I can’t watch zombie movies because they’re scary”, even though they haven’t watched any (laughs). But I’ll go on forever if we keep talking about zombie movies, so let’s end it here.
Everyone bursts out laughing.
Araki: We’d need 2 hours if we had this conversation, so let’s talk about zombie movies another time.
As long as the starting point is controversial, it’s fine to be moral afterwards. -Matsui
Photo caption: Korosensei has many tentacles. The gap between his striking appearance and his personality as a humorous, ideal teacher has been reflected in the story since its beginning.
Araki-sensei, I’d like to hear your thoughts on Assassination Classroom.
Araki: It deals with a pretty risky theme, so if it was handled wrong there’d be a lot of complaints. Within that theme you’ve managed to draw about things like school life and friendship, while still keeping morality in mind. It thought that was splendid.
Matsui: I always take great care in making sure no one will copy the actions in my work. For that reason I also needed to create a teacher that isn’t human. The students also use fake knives for their assassinations, so I’m really careful.
Araki: I see. But that edge is what makes it charming. The title, “Assassination Classroom”, is pretty controversial too.
Matsui: It’s just that though. I make the start controversial and then play it safe on the rest.
Araki: But having “assassination” as a theme is still pretty controversial.
Matsui: Thank you! That reminds me. In Jojo, people would slip in the bath and look up at the ceiling…...at which point the battle starts. I don’t think there’s anyone else but you who could turn such an every-day scene into a dramatic, tense battle.
Araki: That’s thanks to working for Weekly Jump all those years. You simply have to draw battles. That’s a very unique working culture, isn’t it? But it’s also a curse that’s quite hard to get rid of.
Matsui: It makes me want to see you draw something that isn’t about battles. What would it be like if you drew a genuine story manga?
Araki: Wouldn’t that be pretty boring? (laughs) In the end, I think battles are the foundation of manga. There’s a main character, a villain and friends. I think my themes are pretty conventional, such as “Good and Evil” or “Conflict”. But even if you make it romance or gags, isn’t everything a battle in the end? Whether you’re deciding to have curry or ramen for lunch; every choice you make is a form of battle.
Matsui: I see! I’m also pretty conscious of what kinds of characters would appeal to kids these days. The kids niche might change and all. Maybe I dealt with it the wrong way, but when I drew this pretty bad character getting beaten up, some people still disapproved of that, even though I got a lot of votes*. (*t/n: The popularity of manga in WJ is decided by a system of voting through a survey card that is attached in the magazine every week. You pick your three favourite manga of that week and send it in.)
Araki: So you should have let them reconcile.
Matsui: No matter how bad the character is, if you just beat them up it’ll end up leaving a bad taste.
Araki: In Jojo they’re just beyond recovery though. When I think “I don’t need these guys anymore”.
Everyone bursts out laughing.
Matsui: “They put me through all that, so I can have my revenge”, right? I’m jealous that your unique worldview is so accepted by the readers.
I think Assassination Classroom’s story will progress rapidly from here on out, but will we be seeing any new characters?
Photo caption: The students keep developing through their time with Korosensei. The story will expand even further in the second semester!!
Matsui: I had a very solid structure for the first semester. Introducing the characters, introducing the world setting. By now I think everyone will remember the students’ names and faces, so I want to gradually expand the story through the second semester. I’m thinking I could show the kids using their assassination skills in the outside world a bit more.
We look forward to future developments! Finally, if you could give each other some words of encouragement, as well as a message to the Jump Live readers?
Matsui: I couldn’t say everything because I was so nervous, but since middle school, Jojo has been part of my youth. I can’t put it all in one word, but if I must say something it’s….. I love it!!
Araki: I don’t get many chances to meet artists from the new generation, so I was really glad to be able to do this. I’m honoured to have been asked for this and I’m grateful we were able to have such a deep conversation. This time it was a video and a discussion, but next time I’d like to draw manga too. Thank you for everything today.
Matsui: Aw, you’ve said everything already.
Everyone bursts out laughing.
Matsui: Assassination Classroom is contributing to Jump Live in various ways, like mini-games and special drawings. Korosensei has a pretty simple form, so it’s easy to make him appear in all sorts of things. I’d like to have him use that light footwork and appear in Jump Live again sometime, so please keep supporting us!
And just like that, this bizarre special discussion comes to an end! Look forward to Araki-sensei and Matsui-sensei’s further activities!
In February, Paris Manga had the honor of hosting Masahiko Komino, a veteran of the industry who's highly acclaimed for his various roles on the animated adaptations of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, including lead Character Designer of Stardust Crusaders. We took advantage of his visit to Paris to meet with him for a fully dedicated Jojo interview!
Mashiko Komino, thank you very much for accepting this meeting! Can you tell us what brought you to work in animation?
Masahiko Komino: I've been interested in animation since I was very young, but it was only after a brief period abroad that I decided to join a school that specialized in animation.
Are there any artists or works that have influenced your choice of career?
In terms of manga, Ushio & Tora was a series that impacted me deeply, but anime-wise, Sailor Moon was the true turning point in my attraction to this medium. Particularly the first season and its animation, I think the staff managed to find a good balance between the different aspects of the work. It's thanks to Sailor Moon that I discovered that we could convey a lot of emotion through an anime.
Stardust Crusaders is the first anime where you hold the position of Character Designer. How did you go about approaching this first time endeavor?
To be honest, it really wasn't my first time. In fact, I was already given a shot at character design in the past without ever being credited, though Stardust Crusaders is the first series where my name is properly listed in the credits. My past experiences have given me a certain bias of the medium as I've been a long time fan of 80's-90's Shonen such as Dragon Ball, Hokuto no Ken and, of course, Jojo. The problem was that they had previously offered me the character designer role for other series, but I ended up declining them out of lack of interest. However, when I was asked to design the Stardust Crusader characters, you can imagine how thrilled I was since it brought me back to the type of shonen I love.
Although you were already on the staff of Jojo's first animated series, you were not the character designer. Why this change of position between the first anime and Stardust Crusaders?
In the original manga, Hirohiko Araki has a trait of constantly evolving with the times. Out of respect to his series, we felt that it was also necessary to signify these changes in the anime. That's why with each new animated season of Jojo, the character designer is switched out. (Spoiler for Battle Tendency) Regarding the reason that I was chosen for Stardust Crusader's design, the team had admitted to being fairly impressed with how I adapted Part 2, particularly the episode where Caesar died. From there, they wanted to see me push that experience forward.
Hirohiko Araki is one of those authors whose art is very personal and immediately identifiable. How did you handle recapturing it? What was most difficult?
Yes, its true that he has a very special design; Araki is one of those designers who really have their own style. But you know, I've read the manga since I was a kid, so I've constantly absorbed it throughout the years to a point where I find no real difficulty recapturing it. What has actually been difficult is the process. When you draw a manga, you are only responsible for yourself, whereas when you're character designer, you are responsible for a team of a dozen or even hundreds of people who are all waiting to see what they'll work on. The issue is finding a good balance between ease of animation (where the rest of the staff can work without difficulty) and keeping true to the characters. That is what is most difficult.
Which characters were harder to work with? Who was easiest? And who are your favorite characters?
The person I had the most problems with is Daniel J. D'Arby (D'Arby the Gambler). This is a man who is not really old or young, and finding the right balance to emphasize that age and animate it without distorting Araki's original design was very complicated. The easiest character was Jean-Pierre Polnareff because he was very simple to work with, even for action scenes. As for my favorite characters, the one who I prefer to draw is Jotaro, while my favorite short character was Anne as she was the one I related to most.
How was working with Hirohiko Araki?
I have never actually met Mr. Araki. Generally, I would send him my work every Thursday and then he'd make suggestions on modifications, though everything was usually accepted very quickly. I felt alot of confidence from him.
What would you say to a person who would be reluctant to watch Jojo?
Watch, and you'll understand. (Laughs)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is arriving this spring. Will you be a part of the staff?
For now, I still have things to wrap up with Stardust Crusaders. I have contacts for participating in Diamond is Unbreakable and I'd love to participate, but before that I'd like to finish what I have to do.
Character Designer, is it an experience that you'd like to repeat?
It's actually not one of the positions I prefer, because I like above all to live the characters, animate them and make them speak. The character design is obviously important, but I prefer positions where I can work on the animation.
Thanks to Mr. Masahiko Komino, his interpreter and manager Emmanuel Bochew, and Paris Manga for the reception.03/28/2016
Savage Garden: Darren Stanley Hayes
Had you heard of this manga "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" before? If yes, please tell us how you came to know of it.
I was aware that JoJo's was considered to be the coolest anime in Japan. I have many friends who love comics, anime and the show but I admit I had never watched it before! When the request came through, I did of course watch some episodes and I immediately knew the show was lovingly made and clearly adored by millions.
What did you think of your hit "I Want You" being chosen as the ending theme for the TV anime of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure?"
I was very touched by the fact that the creator of the show had been fond of the song "I Want You" and 'Savage Garden'. When I confirmed the news on twitter, my timeline literally blew up and I was swamped with kind messages of support and welcome from the JoJo community. The last thing I wanted was for fans of the show to think the song didn't fit or wasn't appropriate. So to see the positive response, I felt very grateful.
The Part 4 episodes of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" (currently aired in Japan) are set in the year 1999, fairly close to the time "I Want You" first became an international hit. Can you share some memories from around that time?
1996 to 2002 was a roller coaster. In the music industry, this was a time of great excess. The entire Savage Garden period was part of a golden time in music where sales were thriving, music videos were high budget and extravagant and I loved very single minute of it. The fashion, the experimentation and the excitement of radio back then was so electric. I am proud to have been part of that period.
There's been an increased buzz for Savage Garden now that people are hearing "I Want You" on the broadcast of the latest "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable." What is your impression of the reaction from fans?
It's a privilege to reconnect with older fans and meet new fans who were just children when Savage Garden songs were on the radio. I'm meeting fans in their 20's who remember buying our music as their first album. Especially in Japan, the reaction to Savage Garden in the 90's was very special to me. I remember playing some incredible shows to the most gracious and enthusiastic audiences. I still remember my Japanese fans to this day.
The creator of the JoJo series has been a long time fan of Savage Garden and he is thrilled to have "I Want You" on his latest anime series. Any thoughts on the loyalty of your fans and it leading to your track being reintroduced in a brand-new anime project?
I'm just very appreciative that the music has occuppied a very special place in people's lives. I absolutely love the repackaged cover of the album featuring JoJo artwork - it's incredibly cool! Such an honor.
Please give us a message for our Japanese fans.
Thank you for remembering me, our band and our music. My time in Japan was amongst the most magical of my adventures in the music industry. I have fond memories of cheery blossoms, tiny Starbucks cups, incredibly thoughtful gifts, amazing food and an outpouring of love. I love Japan and our Japanese fans and I always will.
Other Notes: ソエジマヤスフミさんの解説には、この他にも、OP２は『スターウォーズ／帝国の逆襲』みたいな気持ちで作っていたのに対し、OP3は『ジェダイの帰還』のような位置づけであるなど、ディ・モールト興味深い情報が「たっぷり！」語られている。また、今月号はページ後半の赤黒2色カラーページにも、仗助から辻彩、吉良吉影までの「キャラクター設定資料ファイル」が6ページに渡って掲載されているので、TVアニメ『ジョジョ』に興味のある方は雑誌の方でぜひチェックしよう。
Ono’s first encounter with Jojo’s came in middle school, when Part 3 of the manga -- Stardust Crusaders -- was running. It wasn’t until he went off to college, however, that he realized just how powerful Jojo’s truly was.
“I had a lot of free time as a college student, and I ended up getting totally sucked into Jojo’s, to the point where I spent what little money I had on the whole series up that point. And then during the course of my going to school, as I read it over and over again, I realized everything I needed to live my life was in that comic.”
A big part of that realization was the rather adult nature of Jojo’s, which mixes horror and suspense elements in a bid to live up to the Bizarre part of its title, and, at least according to Ono, became even more satisfying when viewed through the eyes of an adult.
“As I started to understand the little subtleties and quirks of life, as I experienced doubt, confusion and frustration and accumulated life experience, I found more and more things in Jojo’s that resonated and stayed with me,” Ono said.
Ultimately, Jojo’s was part of the reason he decided to enter the world of broadcasting, and part of how he found success. Ono found himself frustrated with weak communication skills, unable to get others interested in what he had to offer professionally, and floundering in general. It was during this period of his life that he encountered Jojo’s again, discovered a love for radio, and met common friends who would shape the rest of his life.
“The people I work with, my closest friends and acquaintances who I see on a daily basis, are all huge Jojo’s fans. In a way, reading Jojo’s pointed the way forward during the time of my life when I most felt frustrated and unsure of what to do next.” An inspiring story, but how did he feel about getting the chance to play Jotaro Kujo, one of the most iconic characters in manga and anime history?
“Well, Jotaro’s a representative character of the series, and from the part that I think most people are aware of in general, so I felt a lot of pressure at first, followed by more pressure, culminating in… really, it was just all pressure.”
There were also a few questions asked about the audition process for the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle video game, which Ono also played Jotaro in. As is often the case in these kinds of situations, the audition process for the Stardust Crusaders TV series was completely separate from that of the game, and Ono found himself having to re-audition for Jotaro all the way from square one. It all ended up working out in the end, though.
“Jotaro is a character who’s cool and collected and on the verge of boiling over all at the same time. He takes those two contradictory elements and makes them work together at a high level,” Ono said. “He’s a guy who’s cool on the surface, but deep down inside he’s white-hot.”
『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 スターダストクルセイダース』 / http://jojo-animation.com/
―小野大輔さん（以下、小野） 小学生の時、第3部をやっていた辺りが最初の邂逅だったと思います。そのあとは大学へ入って上京してから、第5部を連載している辺りです。 大学時代なのでとにかく時間に余裕があるわけですよね。ドハマりして、なけなしのお金で全巻買いました（笑）。大学生活を送りながら「生きていく中で自分に必要な要素が全てこの作品に入っている」と思って何回も読み返してました。
―小野 そうです。ただ、入ってから「自分は人とのコミュニケーションが苦手だ」ということに気づいたんです。僕は放送学科・テレビ制作コースにいたのですが、テレビを作るとなるとものすごく多くのスタッフさんとコミュニケーションが必要だし、企画や演出ですとさらに多くの人に指示を出さないといけない。つまり自分に興味を持ってもらって、やりたいことを伝えないといけないんです。僕にはそれが全くできなかった。 テレビ制作に関する勉強もしてなかったし、ただ好きなだけで放送学科に入ったので、そこで挫折してしまって。そこで、ラジオ制作に行くんです。 ラジオは2人いれば番組作れちゃう。マンガやアニメ、そうしたサブカルチャーがすごく好きだったので、「これを仕事にしたいな」と思い始めたんです。ジョジョに触れたのはその時期なんですよ。 例えば、第3部のホイィール・オブ・フォーチュン（運命の車輪）戦のセリフ「『道』というものは自分で切り開くものだ」という言葉。すごく感銘を受けました。
―小野 実はその時の仲間は今でもすごく連絡を取ったりしますし、現場で会ったりもするんですよ。 アニメの制作スタッフさんにいたり、今ライターやってる友だちもいます。親友であり戦友である存在です。それは大学時代、道に迷っていた時の自分がジョジョに出会って変わったからこそだと思うんです。
(C)荒木飛呂彦＆LUCKY LAND COMMUNICATIONS/集英社・ジョジョの奇妙な冒険SC製作委員会
Naokatsu Tsuda, the creative director in charge of David Production's anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, was a guest at the Anime Boston 2017 convention. The following is paraphrased from questions that he answered.
Araki had approached them when they started Part 4 to ask them to add in the foreshadowing scenes with Kira. When he was writing the part, he didn’t know who the main villain would be, and if he had known, this is how he would have wanted it to have been.
Tsuda said the color schemes for the characters were based off the Medicos palettes because those are Araki approved. They wanted to add in those color changes because 1) no other anime does that and 2) he felt like everyone reading it had different visions of the colors and wanted to include that feeling in.
His favorite openings were the first one and Great Days, and he talked about how usually directors don’t get a say in the openings but he got to choose the style of music and the feel for the openings. He also mentioned he couldn’t legally say which songs he wished he could have used for the endings but he had a lot.
Usually, anime come out before games, so the voice actors from the anime carry over to the game. However, since All Star Battle was out before the anime, what they did was they allowed those voice actors to re-audition for their roles. Since game voices are recorded alone, and anime is recorded together in a group, they cast voice actors based on how well the teams meshed together, which was why some were chosen differently for the anime. They wanted to have a team that sounded good all together.
The first opening included all the JoJos because Tsuda wanted to promise the fans that he would animate them all. He really wants to do all the parts, and said it really helps to show the companies like Warner that the audience has an interest in them by doing things like writing in. He asks everyone to please send comments in to let them know more JoJo is wanted.
When asked which part he would be most excited to animate, Tsuda replied saying Part 8. He then facetiously asked how they knew Part 8 since it wasn’t officially translated.
There is another interview with Tsuda by AnimeHerald at Anime Boston.
It would be difficult to overstate how profound of an effect “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” has had on Naokatsu Tsuda’s career. He had been a fan of the manga from Shonen Jump, which led directly to him getting the job directing the anime adaptation. David Production COO Koji Kajita asked Tsuda directly if he liked Jojo, and Tsuda responded “Yes.” Kajita wanted fans on the production team.
After being given the directing job, Tsuda needed to decide how the anime was going to look. Tsuda explained that the publisher provided feedback that they wanted to anime to stick very close to the manga. I’m not sure they anticipated just how close Tsuda was prepared to go.
Of course, the publisher may have had a good reason for wanting the anime to hem quite close to the manga:
“Jojo fans are very fanatical.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He noted that his job is getting harder every year. The trick is making each season unique, and Tsuda himself noted that “the idea drawer is getting depleted.”
The discussion then moved into the difference between original works and adaptations. Tsuda commented on the subject, stating:
“Both are challenging, but original adaptations are much more difficult and rewarding.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He explained his reasoning. With an original work, you need to generate a screenplay from scratch. Furthermore, with so little set in stone, directing is much harder.
I was curious if the growth of the American audience, via Crunchyroll, Amazon, and Netflix has affected his job. He responded:
“No change for me yet. We will start thinking about the future audiences for our next productions.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He elaborated that he’s currently working on several different productions, some of original works, others of existing properties, but he wasn’t at liberty to give specifics.
He dropped a bombshell when I asked about how the industry has changed during his career. He noted that digitization had been the biggest change, but then followed:
“I feel we can do away with paper as soon as possible.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He explained that the issue is geography. When working digitally, you can have many people working on the project from any location. I’ll come back to this in a second. I followed up, asking what he felt the greater limitation in production was: Money or time. He laughed and replied:
“Talent!” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He followed up, stating that it really depends on the position and the production. Sound directors and editors were very important areas to have quality staff. Character designers, in particular, had to fit the production. I guess that makes a lot of sense, given how much everything flows from the lead character’s design. Nailing Jojo and Dio helped propel the show into the stratosphere.
I was curious about the process for selecting what shows both he and his studio would work on. Tsuda explained that the label would send their producer out to pitch a show to Tsuda’s studio. Tsuda became a bit introspective here, and wondered if their studio might be at the point where they could do an entire production in-house. (I want to confirm that is what he meant as the translator may have struggled a bit here)
I asked him if he felt it was harder to move up in the industry today. He felt this was not the case:
“It is much easier today, with so many titles in production. Too many.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
I swear to Jojo that he said the next line exactly as you’re reading it:
“Each title eats a director.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
We moved on to the nuts and bolts of the job. He explained that he is almost never completely happy with his work. However, he has a responsibility to keep up with the schedule, so that keeps him moving forward. The most important thing are the storyboards. With those, he simply cannot move on until they get a passing mark. After that, he’ll strive to perfect them as time allows.
I was curious if he was worried about being typecast. He replied:
“I’m happy to be known as that ‘JoJo guy’, but it is not something I can rest on.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
He went on to share that he felt compelled to go work on original titles. He was concerned about stuck in one place, mentally.
“I was happy to work on Planetarian. I explored new things, grew, and took that growth back to JoJo.” -Naokatsu Tsuda
I asked him what recent works had impressed him. He replied that KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! was pretty much flawless, with nothing to complain about. Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan also impressed him, as did Erased.
He noted that he was impressed both with the Erased manga, as well as the anime. He knew they were going to have different endings, but the fact that they were both executed so well, and in such a short turnaround, that was something special. He followed with one more title:
“I liked Your Lie in April. It was good.”
I finished up by asking what he was reading these days. He said he was reading “Wave, Listen to Me”. Kind of a lucky break that it is something that is available in America, as that didn’t have to be the case.
After having some time to think about and digest everything Tsuda said, I’m wondering if the current production system is sustainable. Tsuda was clearly concerned about acquiring the proper talent for each production, and I wonder if that is going to become more difficult in the future. His push to go digital so that they can work with the best staff available, from anywhere in the world, is apt. He’s also concerned about burnout, with so many productions ongoing.
Special thanks to the Anime Boston staff, including translator Takayuki Karahasi. Thanks to Naokatsu Tsuda as well.
Interview with Hirohiko Araki on his choices for the 80's Western Music Hits Parade on MTV Japan. Translated by twitter user @macchalion.
The 80's were an exciting period for a mangaka too. The stories that were coming out were gradually becoming stronger and deeper. This feeling that was floating around at that time could be perceived in both manga and music I think. From "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses, I really liked that while it's an overly long song it contains a lot of different ideas.
How the riff vertically enters the song "When Doves Cry" by Prince and how the melody feels like rain sticking to the ground gives me a really nice effect of 'solid' and sexy. I think the sound effects in 'JoJo's Bizarre Adventure' came from my desire to incorporate the strange voice that comes out from this song in a manga. For David Lee Roth's "California Girls," I adored the excitement and happy feeling it gave me. If you link the music and images it reflects, ZZ TOPS' "Legs" reminded me of something like the Pinup Girl style.
I consider these songs similar to an oil painting; I especially consider the way Norman Rockwell used to draw them to be quite erotic. His art used to appear in calendars, but it's popular now too. I think it would be nice to listen to these songs while watching those calendars.
◆STAFF & CAST COMMENT
左から、水橋 かおりさん、中原 麻衣さん、櫻井 孝宏さん、高木 渉さん 監督 加藤 敏幸 今回のOVAの見どころを教えてください。
岸辺露伴 役 櫻井 孝宏
周りの人にはわかりにくかったと思いますが、こっそりテンション高かったです！ またジョジョできるのが嬉しくて興奮しました。 集中して一気に録り切ってしまったので、もっと味わいたかったですね。
その違いを味わえたのが一番の贅沢だったかもしれません。 「ダイヤモンドは砕けない」と「岸辺露伴は動かない」の間には長い年月の隔たりがありますが、それを一気に飛び越えてしまいました。 お芝居で変えた部分は一切ありません。同じ露伴です。
皆さんの期待を裏切らない素晴らしいクオリティのアニメーションです。 岸辺露伴が皆さんをスリリングな世界へと案内してくれますよ。 ぜひ、見てください。
泉京香 役 中原 麻衣
一究 役 水橋 かおり
- リアル脱出ゲーム #中国・四国 #九州 #北海道 #北陸 #東北 #東海 #関東 #関西
――2017年11月2日から、「リアル脱出ゲーム × ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 スターダストクルセイダース『ジョジョの奇妙な館からの脱出』」が全国で順次開催されます。まず、本公演の内容について、お教えください。
コンテンツ・ディレクター 鹿野康二（以下、鹿野） 『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 スターダストクルセイダース』（以下、『ジョジョ』第3部）が舞台となっていて、宿敵DIOの館へ向かう旅の途中での主人公・承太郎一行の話になります。 承太郎たちは、DIOの館に着く前に訪れたホテルでスタンド使いから襲撃をされ、ホテルの中に閉じ込められてしまいます。 そこから1時間以内に脱出をしないと、スタンド能力によって消滅…つまり、死んでしまう、という設定です。 プレイヤーの方々は、それぞれ5人と1匹の承太郎一行になりきってもらい、その館から脱出する方法を探っていくという大掛かりなゲームになっています。
鹿野 集英社さんとは『ワンピース』や『キングダム』など、これまでもさまざまな作品でコラボをやらせていただきましたが、今年が『ジョジョ』30周年ということで実現に至りました。 お客さんへの「どんな公演をプレイしてみたいですか？」というアンケートで、「『ジョジョ』とコラボしてほしい」というのはいつもめちゃくちゃ多かったので、ついに来た……！という感じでした（笑）。 リアル脱出ゲームのファンと『ジョジョ』のファンは、重なる部分もあるのかもしれません。
鹿野 私は『遊園地からの脱出』でも、ディレクターを担当しました。 もともとSCRAPのコンテンツチームでライターをやっていて、ディレクターをやったことはなかったんです。 でも、『ジョジョ』が大好きなので。コラボが決まった時に、僕が社内で一番最初に「えっ!!」って反応したんです。 そうしたら、「よし、お前がディレクターをやれ」って。 やっぱり、「好きこそものの上手なれ」じゃないですけど、作品への愛を尊重するところがあるので。 企画としては『ジョジョの奇妙な館からの脱出』が先に挙がったんですが、 今年の夏に第4部が原作の実写映画『ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ダイヤモンドは砕けない 第一章』が公開されるということと、 毎年夏に遊園地公演をやっていることもあって、『遊園地からの脱出』が先に開催されることになりました。
鹿野 リアル脱出ゲームの公演に、どうスタンド能力を落とし込むのか？というところは議論を重ねてきたので、ぜひ注目していただきたいです。 今回、シルバーチャリオッツだったら「レイピアで突く」という風に、それぞれスタンド特有のアイテムを使ったアクションを謎解きに組み込んでいます。『ジョジョ』はバトルマンガなので、実際に体を動かしてもらって、バトル感や自分がスタンドを使ってる感じを体験してもらいたいです。 思いっきり「シルバーチャリオッツ!!」とか「スター・プラチナ!!」とか叫べます（笑）。
鹿野 少ないですね。『遊園地からの脱出』も、自分がオリジナルのスタンド使いになるって感じでした。 なので、みなさんにはキャラクターになりきってもらって、ゲーム中に『ジョジョ』の名言をいっぱい言ってもらえると楽しいと思います。
鹿野 チェックポイントで“ジョジョのポーズ”をして進む、という感じ。 謎を解くには無駄な部分なんですけど、僕は絶対に必要だと思っているんです。 アクションで体を動かしたり、名言を言い合ったりするようなことが意外に楽しかったりするので。 ほかにも、公演中には『ジョジョ』ファンならニヤッとしてしまう小ネタもちょこちょこ入れているので、楽しんでもらいたいですね。
――承太郎一行として、「To Be Continued」の矢印と一緒に“ジョジョのポーズ”を決めて写真を撮りたいですね（笑）。
鹿野 遊園地公演は実際にアトラクションに乗って謎を解くほか、次の目的地までの道のり自体が謎になっていたりと、かなり謎の質が違います。 また、遊園地などのオープンフィールド型と、ホール型のリアル脱出ゲームでは世界観の作り込みも違うと思います。 『遊園地からの脱出』はフォトスポットのアンジェロ岩など、『ジョジョ』第4部の舞台・杜王町の世界観にうまくハマったのが良かったです。 今回はエジプトのホテルという館が舞台になっているので、館の装飾や館に閉じ込められるという設定など、『ジョジョ』で大事な世界観をトータルで作り込むことができました。 あと、これは『ジョジョ』に限らずですが、ホール型は1時間の時間制限があるので、その緊張感も全然違うと思います。
鹿野 敵キャラのスタンド使いなんですけど、特に第3部の『ジョジョ』っぽさを意識してキャラクターを作っていきました。 外見もそうですが、身長や体重、性格だったり、好きな映画や好きな音楽、またDIOの手下でもあるので、DIOとの関係性など、いろいろな方向から考えましたね。
鹿野 承太郎一行になりきってもらった時に、敵キャラはどうしよう？ ということになったんです。 最初はDIOを敵として考えたんですが、『ジョジョ』を読んだことがある人はDIOの能力や倒し方などを知っているので、謎を作りにくいというのがありました。 一方で、オリジナルキャラクターであれば、よりダイナミックな謎のアイディアも出てくるだろうということもあり、謎解きとの相性を考えてオリジナルキャラクターを設定しました。 最初、こちらでディジャ・メイカーの性格や生い立ちといった資料を作って、荒木飛呂彦先生に監修をお願いしたんですが、先生からは「もっと設定を作ってほしい」という風に伺いました。 というのも、最初は身長や体重のほか、性格も「一見、物腰柔らかで丁寧だが内面は陰険で狡猾」といったぐらいだったんです。
鹿野 ですので、そこから好きな映画や音楽だったり、公開はしていない裏設定なども考えていきました。 そうすると、自分の中でキャラクターのイメージがすごく湧いてきて、勝手に動きはじめてくれる感じがありました。 公演のストーリー展開やシナリオを作る際にも、「このキャラだったら、こういうことはしない」「こいつは、ここで多分逃げ出すだろう」というのが見えてきました。 オリジナルのキャラクターを作ったことに加えて、改めて原作を読み込んで、「『ジョジョ』だったら、どうなるだろうか？」という、『ジョジョ』っぽい展開も意識して考えることができたんです。 そして、「これは『ジョジョ』とは違うな」という部分は排除して、制作してきました。
鹿野 好きな音楽の設定を考える時に、きっとディジャは1時間どこかに潜んでいるから、音楽でもその1時間を測っていたら面白いね、という話になったんです。 その曲を聞き終えたら、1時間経過して敵を始末したことがわかる、っていう。 コンテンツチームは妄想癖のある人が多いので（笑）、みんなでわいわいブレストした中から良いアイディアを採用していきましたね。
鹿野 外見ですかね。なるべく『ジョジョ』第3部に出てきてもおかしくない、クセの強い外見にしたかった。 例えば、原作ではすごく変な小さなメガネをかけたアレッシーや、目からシマシマの線が出ているダービーだったりと、クセの強い外見のキャラが登場してきます。 その雰囲気をデザイナーさんにイメージとして伝えるのは難しかったです。 ただ、それもいきなり外見から考えるんじゃなくて、こういうキャラクターだからヒゲを生やしているのかとか、メガネをかけているのか、っていう風に考えていきました。 デザイナーさんが設定からビジュアルのアイディアをすごく膨らませてくれて、「カギのイヤリングはどうか？」とか「ルービックキューブ模様の柄はどうか」といった意見を出してくれて。 そうやって一緒に作り出していった感じです。
鹿野 『ジョジョ』の公演を作るとなった時に「ほかのコラボと何が違うのか？」ということを考えました。 その時に、『ジョジョ』の“すごい強い敵に工夫して勝つ”とか“運命を乗り越える”といった感じを出したいな、と思ったんです。 それこそ、荒木先生は原作の単行本などで「人間賛歌をうたっていきたい」、つまり『ジョジョ』は人間と勇気の素晴らしさを描いているということを書いているので、そういった部分が出せたらな、と。 なので、ぜひ「運命を乗り越えて、絶対勝つぞ」という気持ちで来ていただけると嬉しいですね。 あとは、SCRAPの社長・加藤もジョジョ好きなので、打ち合わせをしていても『ジョジョ』談義が止まらなくなっちゃうんですよ（笑）。 「あのシーンはヤバい！」とか、「一番良いシーンは…」とか話し出して、ブレストが進まなくなる、みたいなのは本当にありましたね。
鹿野 もちろん楽しめると思います。 今回は先ほど言ったレイピアなど、紙ものを含めてアイテム数が多くなっています。 なので、ただひたすらパズルを解くというのではなく、アイテムを使って立体的に謎を解くという方向性で制作をしています。 そういったギミックが好きな方は楽しめると思います。 それこそ、『館からの脱出』を体験した後にでも、原作・アニメに触れてもらって『ジョジョ』を好きになってもらえるとすごく嬉しいです。
鹿野 ぜひ原作を読んで、名言を覚えてきてもらえると。 『ジョジョ』の名言を使うポイントもきっとあると思うので、「絶対に『やれやれだぜ』を使うぞ」といった気持ちで来てもらって、キャラになりきっていただけたら、楽しさは何倍にもなると思います。 それと、今特設サイトでは謎を解くとアブドゥルがタロット占いをしてくれる「アブドゥル占い」もやっているので、それをやって気持ちを高めていただいても面白いかな、と。 アブドゥルからのコメントもちゃんと『ジョジョ』の原作に合ったものになっていますよ。
鹿野 『ジョジョの奇妙な館からの脱出』に来てもらって、その一時間はキャラクターになりきって、思いっきりスタンド名を叫んでもらえたらな、と。 それで、みんなで運命を乗り越えてもらいたいです。 ……もうみんな、脱出すればいいですよね（笑）。